July 5, 2018, 10:04 am
Probably one of the biggest concerns a hotel has with regard to sustainability is its laundry. Millions of sheets, towels and other linens; tonnes of detergent; excessive use of water. An innovative technology pioneered by Xeros Cleaning Technologies is helping change all that.
Polymer bead technology – developed in conjunction with Leeds University’s renowned school of textiles – was invented as a way of eliminating the need for vast quantities of hot water and harmful detergents when washing. Research into improving the way in which dye is applied to fabrics using polymers led to researchers asking the question; if polymers could be used to anchor dye onto fabric, could the process be reversed to remove stains from fabric? The answers led to the founding of Xeros Cleaning Technologies in 2006.
Essentially, polymer bead technology replaces large amounts of hot water and detergent with millions of tiny polymer beads – made of nylon, in this instance, thanks to its resilience and its tendency to become highly absorbent in humid conditions – in the washing machine drum, reducing water consumption by up to 80%. Water temperatures do not need to be as hot as traditional washing, detergent requirements are much lower and only a fraction of the amount of water is needed.
The polymer beads readily absorb stray dyes in the wash, thereby removing stains from fabric without excessive harsh chemicals and avoiding the need for time spent on colour separation before loading the wash, improving the efficiency of the wash process and saving time.
Polymer bead technology also works without the tumbling action of traditional washing, resulting in less wear and tear on fabrics, and reduces the need to pre-treat stains, minimising chemical use, achieving a cleaner wash first time and reducing the need for repeated washing.
To ensure maximum cleaning performance, beads are constantly extracted from the wash and refreshed, then refreshed beads are introduced, and after hundreds of uses the beads are permanently removed and recycled into other products such as car fascias.
So, what is the real effect polymer bead technology has on a hotel’s laundry cost and carbon footprint? Significant, it seems. Xeros gives a typical 250+ room hotel as an example; if the hotel spends US$13,926 in water and sewage costs each year on their in-house laundry operation, using the Xeros polymer bead cleaning system that same hotel would spend only US$3,482, saving a considerable US$10,444.
In the UAE, Xeros Cleaning Technologies has partnered with Consolidated International Corporation (CIC) Middle East to distribute and service its award-winning commercial laundry system. The organisation was also an associate partner of Dubai Green Hotel Innovation platform in 2017.
Photo Credit – www.tophotelsupplier.com